A few months ago one of our clients asked for my help to redesign the rooms of their new bought house, a 19thC. Belgian villa outside the city center of Ghent.
For this family with three growing children, the living room was one of the most important rooms that needed a complete makeover. They wanted me to create a family-living room suiting their lifestyle and fitting in with their taste.
From the very first discussions, I noticed that they had a preference for a traditional design style.
Besides the fact that they wanted to create a very cozy atmosphere, it had to be taken into account that this family would spend a lot of time together in this room.
On my first visit to their home I already realized that apart from some existing elements such as the ceiling cornices, the imposing double door and the rather newly laid oak parquet floor (however it needed a new finish), I would have to redesign this space almost completely from scratch.
The first step of (re-)designing a room is the layout. You always need to start with the basic question : what do you want to use the room for?
Layout of the living room.
If you have the space as here in this room, you need to arrange furniture to create purposeful zones. Of course I had to think about a sofa for the TV fanatics in this family, but I definitely had to find a space to create a cozy reading corner, where we could put a chair and a reading lamp. Classic designed rooms have generous seating.
I had to consider sufficient seating, a coffee table, occasional tables and storage. One of the walls is completely taken to create a floor-to-ceiling storage and display cabinet. And as the owners are very busy people and love to continue working from home in the evening, we needed a desk or home office.
Once everything was planned and after a consensus about the layout, I could move to the fun stuff – choosing the style of this living room. I noted earlier that according to our clients’ wishes I had to design this room in a traditional style, giving the room a less constructed, more relaxed feel as this is a place to unwind at night.
I had to suggest painting techniques and colour palette, window treatment and upholstery fabrics, furniture (new and antique) and decorative accessories to bring in, and not to forget we needed to draw up a functional lighting plan, an issue of great importance.
Living room makeover starting from scratch.
Of course this family needed a TV in this room, but I didn’t wanted to start designing around a TV screen, as it is not always the most attractive way to arrange your furniture. I didn’t want to create a home cinema room. So I made the layout around the fireplace, the focal point of the room. The existing chimney was way too small for this room, so we needed to replace it with a more imposing piece, in proportion to the size of the room and the height of the ceiling.
Demolition of the existing fireplace.
We found a beautiful 18th century chimney with fireback at one of the antique dealers in France, with whom we regularly work together.
French 18thC. Louis XV rouge royal marble chimney.
We started choosing the main colour for the room and picked out two accent shades to use in smaller doses, to give warmth to the neutral scheme of the walls. These decisions are the basic and determine the further choice of fabrics and furniture.
The walls were given the decorative paint technique ‘weave’.
The ceiling and existing cornices are given a very soft colour shade and are finished with a hand-made patina.
The most difficult job was choosing the perfect patina for the cabinetry wall.
Main colour and accent shades choice.
Part of the cabinetry wall with integrated desk.
The painter bringing on the chosen patina on one of the cabinet doors.
Finished cabinetry wall with integrated desk on one side and display cabinet on the other side.
Detail of cabinetry with hidden doors towards the dining room.
The cabinet niches are given a layer of casein paint.
Detail of the cabinetry before painting.
Detail of the cabinetry after painting.
Searching for the best decorative accessories and books to display.
I do love the gentle glow of the hidden LED light sources in the built-in cabinet niches.
A detail of one of the sofa’s that will be placed in this room.
The upholstered coffee table and carpet sample.
Chosen window treatment fabrics.
Curtains and carpet are ordered and will be installed very soon!
Currently I am searching for the perfect furniture and accessories to give this living room an elegant and classy impression.
To be continued…
If you would love me to help you with the redesign of your home interior, please don’t hesitate to contact me
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All pictures by me.